RANDALLS PUBLICIZES PRIVATE-LABEL LINES

HOUSTON -- Randalls Food Markets here has started a push to increase movement of its private-label offerings."We have a goal," said Mike Perry, a Randalls category manager. "We believe that having a strong private-label program is good for your business. We believe it helps you to be profitable," Perry explained."But we realize that in Houston, the private-label business is not as strong as it is

HOUSTON -- Randalls Food Markets here has started a push to increase movement of its private-label offerings.

"We have a goal," said Mike Perry, a Randalls category manager. "We believe that having a strong private-label program is good for your business. We believe it helps you to be profitable," Perry explained.

"But we realize that in Houston, the private-label business is not as strong as it is elsewhere in the country; and with our account specifically, we are somewhat weak in private label. We have certainly made an effort to rectify that," he said.

One part of the overall effort has been an increase in the amount of advertising of its private-label products, as evidenced by a recent full-page ad touting those lines.

The four-color ad ran in the Houston Chronicle and urged shoppers to "Lower your total food bill with Randalls brands." The ad featured numerous Food Club, Pet Club and Top Crest products that Randalls sources from TopCo Associates, Skokie, Ill., as well as Randalls' own R-Cola, Dr. Randalls and Randalls Clearly Remarkable soft drinks and New Age beverages.

Perry told SN that the advertisement was used to generate interest in Randalls private-label program by stimulating trial of its house brands. He said items spotlighted in the ad were on sale that week at promotional prices.

Among the Food Club brand items featured were assorted canned vegetables, three for 99 cents; apple juice or cider, $1.29 a 64-ounce jar; canned fruit, three for $1.98; peanut butter, $1.99 a 28-ounce jar; Big Chips cookies, two 18-ounce bags for $3; chunk light tuna in water or oil, 59 cents a 6.125-ounce can, and fish sticks, $3.99 for a 48-ounce bag.

Randalls own brand items included R-Cola soft drinks at 59

cents a 2-liter bottle and Randalls Clearly Remarkable flavored waters, 59 cents a one-liter bottle.

Perry said many of the private-label items were "aggressively" merchandised in the stores, often with additional displays.

"But the impact of the sale was lessened a little bit by the double and triple coupons that are going on in this market. Other than that it has certainly built some awareness," he said.